Leadership is not a position to seek for the sake of leading. It is a calling, an anointing, and an appointment from God for the sake of others. Leadership is a gift to those they lead. It is not just a matter of gifting and function. It is a matter of God-ordained relationship. That God-ordained relationship is one of a leader towards God’s purpose and objective as well as his or her relationship with those he or she leads. Leadership is a matter of authority; therefore, leadership comes from authority. It is always under a life-source. In the kingdom of God leadership doesn’t represent the people, it represents God who gives life to the world. Leadership represents God in heaven and the delegated expressions of God with skin on that carry the substance of the life that is being given through the expressions of authority.
If you are called to lead in an area of life it means you are the first to be found in the authority of that area of life. Authority is not mere power; it is the power to give life to others. All authority comes from God and all authority is intended to bring life to those they are over. A pitcher of water must be over a glass in order for the glass to receive the water that the pitcher holds. It is not a matter of control. It is a matter of proper relationship in receiving what the pitcher carries for the sake of the empty glass. Authority is always over for the sake of all that is ‘under’ that authority. It is not a matter of lording or seeking to be more important than others. It is a matter of being able to fulfill God-given responsibilities. The pitcher doesn’t become filled with water because of the need of an empty glass; it becomes filled with water because of the abundance of a fountain of water. It is the fountain of water that fills the pitcher and then the pitcher seeks out a glass that is seeking to find a pitcher of water. Needs do not determine what authority is required. God determines the future of the world. He wants to give us things we don’t even know we need. God-directed authority activates the hearts of the needy to seek out the life that is being offered through the authority of God. This is true for individual people as well as societies and situations in society.
How do you determine the direction of God in leadership? Do we look at the needs of an area or the needs of a people and then attempt to fashion leadership to a role of meeting those needs? If we look at the apparent needs of people and fashion leadership to meet those needs we are not seeking authority. We are attempting to grasp for some form of power to meet the apparent needs of people. It can be true for a community or any needy area of life. A proper direction for the authority of leadership doesn’t come from the apparent needs of a people or any given situation. It comes by the direction of God. It comes from the source of authority. We live in societies that attempt to meet needs, but that reactionary approach seldom deals with the root of the perceived fruits. It is a backwards approach to healing a situation. Authority produces life because authority comes from a life-source; it is not a demanded power by a source of need. This is true for the needs of an individual, the needs of societies, or any needy situation in society.
If we lead to meet the needs of others we will never change the world. We will manage a measure of fruitfulness, multiplication, and filling, but we will never see the greater measure of God’s authority to subdue and have dominion. The needs of people are very often determined by their perceived realities. If we lead to respond to their needs we are responding to their perceived realities. The result will be another measure of what has happened before. We may gather a crowd, grow in size, or grow in number, but we may never change the world. To subdue is to destroy death with life. Leading to meet the needs of people very often deals with the perceived fruit of a need, but doesn’t really change the root cause of that apparent need. The substance of life doesn’t come from the task we are trying to accomplish. It comes by the measure of life we carry to accomplish the task. That measure of life comes from who and what we are under. It is not determined by what we are over in our responsibilities. True dominion is the ability to crumble a lie with a measure of truth. Dominion, like subduing, is not determined by who or what we are over. Who or what we are under determines our dominion in life. God is the fullness of truth, so to be a measure of truth we must be under that expression of truth in God. This involves our personal relationship with God by His Spirit as well as the God-sent physical expression of that truth to our lives. Who or what we are over does not determine our responsibilities in life. Who and what we are under determine responsibility. We are responsible to receive life so we have life to give to others. We cannot change the world by looking at the world. The future of the world is not determined by how it is in the world. It is determined by how it is in heaven. Authority is not a matter of seeing what is in the world and attempting to bring heaven to it. It is a matter of seeing what is in heaven and then bringing a measure of that heavenly substance to a hungry world. When life walks into a room, death is transformed to become life.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson